The Democratic Party is going, going …
It didn’t surprise me when John Kerry and John Edwards lost the presidential race this fall. They didn’t understand the underlying sentiments of this country, like most Democrats. I voted for Kerry and Edwards, regardless of my thoughts on their chances of being elected, because I, like many other Americans, am a one-issue voter. I vote for the environment. I figure that the Democrats are more likely to take care of the environment than the Republicans, and you have only to look westward to Rulison, the Roan Plateau and the Piceance Creek region to see the devastation wrought by drilling rigs that were issued permits to drill on federal land by Bush administration bureaucrats. Though I voted for Kerry and Edwards, I did so knowing that the Democratic candidates were deeply flawed. Kerry, by throwing his military medals off a bridge, allied himself with characters such as Jane Fonda, who is deeply resented by a great majority of people in the heartland. Edwards, a trial lawyer, made his fortune by tort litigation, which not only has added a huge burden to American consumers by a de facto surcharge on everything we purchase in America, but also has made life more difficult with a nonstop series of litigation avoidance in everything we pursue. Kerry’s record as a senator was pitiful. I can’t recall one meaningful piece of legislation that he sponsored in 20 years of office.Kerry made a special point of going goose hunting in Ohio during the campaign as a palliative measure against voters’ perception that he was anti-gun. It didn’t work. I outfitted close to 50 big-game hunters this fall, and each and every one of them scoffed at this transparent political ploy. I took a poll, and not one of them voted for Kerry. The National Rifle Association has 4 million members, and I’ll bet you that 95 percent of those 4 million motivated voters cast their ballots for Bush. As a candidate, how would you like to be guaranteed that kind of a voting bloc? Heck, if Kerry had split the NRA membership with Bush, he’d be President Kerry today.It’s well-known that Republicans will gleefully destroy hunting habitat in a variety of ways, but the average hunter will look past that fact to protect his right to own firearms. I saw it the other way. I’d rather back wildlife and habitat first and look to the Republicans in Congress to block any gun-control legislation proposed by the Democrats.Then there’s the tedious pandering to the minorities by the Democratic Party. No one wants to alienate that huge Hispanic voting bloc by stating real concerns, such as telling Mexico, “You’re flooding our country with illegal immigrants and it has to stop. Providing health care, welfare benefits, and education to your illiterate citizens is breaking the back of our society. It must stop now.” Yet even 47 percent of recent legal Hispanic immigrants are in favor of tightening our borders, and they voted accordingly.Of course, the black (colored? African American?) political leaders demanding reparations for their forefathers’ status as slaves is just one more example of an ethnic group’s extremism and absurdity. They’d rather look to government to make things right for them, rather than making things right for themselves. Americans, as a whole, are tired of this. How is it that a Pakistani or Malaysian or Somali immigrant can come to this country and be successful beyond his wildest dreams, yet black Americans are still mired in poverty, drugs and illegitimate children on welfare? But the Democrats champion this group and seek to perpetuate this situation.And then there’s gay marriage. My goodness. Kerry and Edwards tried to dance around this issue, not stating definitively a position in favor or against the idea, but again, it was transparent. Like it or not, most Americans are more conservative than that. The idea of granting marriage status to gay couples simply goes against the morals of most Americans. It may not seem like such a big deal in Boulder or San Mateo, but if you’d spend a little time in Mitchell, S.D., the sentiment is far different. The average Heartland, USA, voter finds the concept of gay marriage repugnant.And then you have the labor unions, which have strangled business and commerce with mafias that have proven uncompetitive in the world market, causing entire American industries, such as the steel industry, to virtually collapse.In short, the Democratic Party is a collection of special-interest groups seeking to perpetuate a long list of entitlements and special treatment to which the majority of Americans don’t have access. And if you think Kerry got beat in 2004, wait until the Democrats run Hillary Clinton in 2008. While the majority of voters disagreed with Kerry, they didn’t hate him. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, inspires a visceral hatred on the part of an unusually large percentage of people, and if she runs, she will be beaten so badly that the party may never recover. The Democratic Party is out of step with the common man, and until some common sense prevails, the party will continue to lose its stature in American politics.Perhaps it’s time for a third political party, one that speaks from a common-sense perspective and that avoids the extremism of the Republicans and Democrats both. I will predict, however, that if Democrats don’t radically change their platforms, the party will cease to exist as a political force by the middle of this century.Gary Hubbell lives in Marble, where he and his wife, Doris, operate OutWest Guides. They offer summer horseback rides, fly-fishing trips and autumn big-game hunts.
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